Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, 2023

Perez’s fourth place was better than Red Bull’s simulation forecasted

2023 Spanish Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez finished the Spanish Grand Prix higher than Red Bull’s simulation indicated he would from 11th on the grid.

The Red Bull driver failed to make the cut for Q3 in qualifying yesterday and lined up on the sixth row of the grid. While some of the team’s rivals predicted he would be up to second behind Max Verstappen within 10 laps, Red Bull did not believe Perez would be able to finish as high as fourth in a race which featured no Safety Car periods to close the pack up.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said their simulation “said on a clean race P5, he did one better than that in P4.”

Although Perez lost a place to Russell who started behind him, he got ahead of Carlos Sainz Jnr who lined up on the front row of the grid. Horner said their simulation “felt that maybe the Ferrari would have better race pace than it had.”

“The fact that he was getting within a couple of seconds of the podium as well at the end there and hunting down George, it was a very good recovery particularly the second half of the race for Checo,” Horner added.

Perez said he “had to be quite patient, especially in the first lap” of the race. “Not taking unnecessary risk for us was important.

“Just being patient and try to go long and then the race was later on. But unfortunately, we just finished a bit further behind than George.”

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He realised early in the race he wouldn’t be able to finish ahead of the Mercedes. “I thought at the time I wasn’t fighting with George, it was more Carlos,” he said. “Very early on, I could see that George was really strong.”

Race start, Circuit de Catalunya, 2023
Poll: Vote for your 2023 Spanish Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend

Perez finished 35 seconds behind team mate Max Verstappen, who led every lap on the way to his fifth win of the season. Horner said it was a “phenomenal performance” by Verstappen, who is now 53 points ahead of Perez in the standings.

“I think probably the most challenging part of the race for him was actually the start, being pretty much the only two cars to be starting on the medium tyres. The start was good, but he had to be firm but fair with Carlos into the first turn.

“Then really after that he managed the race brilliantly well. We ran all three compounds of tyres today and he had the pace to cover whatever was going on behind him and built a 24-second gap by the end of the race. So an outstanding performance.”

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2023 Spanish Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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17 comments on “Perez’s fourth place was better than Red Bull’s simulation forecasted”

  1. José Lopes da Silva
    4th June 2023, 19:31

    It was good to see Hornet reply in such a nasty way to Rosberg because it humanizes the competition. Team principals can use the same arguments as if they were in a pub.
    Nico Rosberg is the second most entitled person in the world to question Perez’ performance. Only Alain Prost would be more.
    Perez should be doing what Rosberg did in 2016: striking back after losing two titles for the team mate.

  2. Come on. Russel started 12th and finished on the podium. Perez started 11th and finished only 4th in the best car. That must have been the ‘be careful witch Checo, he’s been having a hard time’ simulation.

    1. Indeed, they simulated the perez monaco pace in it!

    2. The verstappen simulation had easy 2nd place, perhaps fighting for the win with a pole starting perez.

  3. Russell was “really strong”? He finished over half a minute behind the other Red Bull.

    1. The other Red Bull was even stronger finishing behind Russell. I have to admit that the car 11 was always between the white lines unlike the one that was ‘cruising’ for victory.

  4. Mercedes’ strategy was spot on today to defend against PER. Their pit crew is still too slow which could cost them in future battles with PER.

    1. Perez’s Pitcrew clocked 2.0 and 2.2 seconds while the best Mercedes was 2.6 seconds. But Perez started for George so he should be in front of George at the end of the race.

  5. Russell took way less time than Perez to clear the field ahead.

    And as for Sainz being slow, that was not unexpected at all.

    1. I don’t think anyone expected Saniz and the AMs to be quite as slow as they were.

      1. Not necessarily, however I expected merc to be fast even before I watched quali, because they’re usually fast at this track; I was more surprised about aston being off pace than ferrari.

  6. I am sure Verstappen would have cleared both Mercedeses, starting from that position.

    Really tough this. Red Bull should find a driver that can live with handling of that Red Bull.

    As soon as development took more to Maxes liking, Perez has to sacrifice performance to get what he needs. But by then the car is slower, etc.

    They should stick Hamilton or Alonso in #2 RedBull, then we would have a contest.

    1. He was just so much faster than perez here that I’m confident he could’ve beaten him even if their quali had been swapped.

  7. I must be in sync with RBR. Fourth place was better than my simulation for him also.

  8. Coventry Climax
    5th June 2023, 2:08

    And again, Perez first takes the pressure off of himself by messing up, and then gets praised for a “brilliant catch up race”. Man what a nonsense. His race would be brilliant if he started on the position his car is capable of and then finish further up after true fights and not DRS passes.
    Cow-dung driver.

  9. Why does it seem after Barrichello latino drivers are the 2nd ones. Massa, Barrichello, Massa, Perez.. Who’s next? Drugovich?

  10. Well, like I said yesterday, with the pace that red bull has, even though mercedes was faster than I expected, not being able to overtake ANY of them starting 11th is not impressive at all by perez.

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